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Rachel Ruamy (Long) Pritts


John and Rachel

Rachel Ruamy (Long) Pritts was born on April 11, 1860 in Confluence, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of George and Elizabeth (Minerd) Long.

When Rachel was 12, her father died, and she became the legal ward of her grandparents, Jacob and Rachel (Ansell) Minerd III. They would care and provide for Rachel for many loving years, and she and her husband later would purchase the Minerd house at Normalville, Fayette County, PA.

On July 18, 1886, at her grandparents’ home, the 26-year-old Rachel married 24-year-old John B. Pritts (1862-1939), the son of James and Hannah (Bungard) Pritts. Rev. James A. Martin, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated, while Rachel’s second cousin Lawson Minerd "stood up for them" at the wedding ceremony.


Rachel and John's marriage
certificate, dated 1886

Their ornate marriage license is seen at right. Click for an enlarged view.

The Prittses produced eight children between the years 1887 to 1906 – William "Clyde" Pritts, Ida Grace Prinkey, Bessie M. Sleasman, Elizabeth Sleasman, Hannah A. Prinkey, Esther M. Flydell, Blanche Brooks and Homer Randall Pritts.

In 1889, John and Rachel moved with their young family to Stonerville, a small community near Ohiopyle, Fayette County. But they did not stay long, and later returned to Normalville.

Farming did not produce a substantial income for the family, and over the years the Connellsville Courier reported a number of their losses. In July 1896, John "had a lot of sheep killed … by dogs." In November 1901, he complained "that hunters killed at least six of his turkeys, taking them home and palming them off for wild ones. If the habit of shooting poultry by hunters is not stopped, somebody will get into trouble, and it won’t be the farmers, either." In September 1906, John "lost a valuable horse by lung fever. [He earlier had] refused $200 for the animal."


Pritts farm house

To generate additional income via higher-paying employment, in the spring of 1902, the Prittses moved to "the new coke works at Victoria, near West Newton," where John took a job as stable boss, said the Courier. They remained there for four or five years, renting out their Normalville farm to tenants, and then moved back to Normalville.

The Prittses later purchased the old Minerd home at Normalville, seen here. Standing on the porch, left to right, are: John and Rachel (Long) Pritts, Homer Pritts, Susan Anna (Long) Kooser, Blanche Brooks, Hannah Prinkey, Elizabeth Kooser, Mary Kooser, Elizabeth Sleasman and Bessie Sleasman. To see an enlarged version, visit our March 2006 "Photo of the Month."

The house was covered with weather board that covered the original logs on all sides except in the back, where the logs could be seen. The first floor contained a family room, dining room and kitchen, with four bedrooms on the second floor. A daughter remembered that it took seven yards of carpet to cover the entire living room floor.

A 1906 article in the Courier observed that John was "adding a new porch to the front of his house and making many other improvements, which will add very much to the appearance…"

Rachel and John's 50th anniversary, 1936. Photo by Jack Pletcher.



Rachel and her birthday cake

Rachel always told her children that the family was Pennsylvania Dutch. But only on rare occasions would she speak German words. She would say, "Learning one language is tough enough, let alone two!"

Among their neighbors in Normalville were Rachel's cousins once removed, Martin and Amanda (Williams) Miner. Amanda would pass by the Pritts home while walking to town to shop, and often stopped by to rest and visit. 

In July 1910, the Prittses received a penny postcard from a church friend, announcing that "Dr. Ross will preach and hold our last quarterly conference Sunday morning, July 24."

Rachel is believed to have attended Minerd-Miner Reunions in 1914 (at Killarney Park in Mill Run) and 1920 (at Ferncliff Hotel at Ohio Pyle), as printed ribbons from those events were found in her personal effects many years later. 

In 1926, when Rachel and John celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, all eight of their children and all 12 grandchildren attended a party at their home. The Daily Courier reported that "The children all took well-filled baskets and the table was laid for 29. Albert and Alvie Sleasman played violin and guitar numbers. Albert Sleasman played the organ, while the rest joined in with singing."

She is seen at right, holding a birthday cake laden with candles, date unknown. Conceivably this image could have been taken at the 1926 event.

John and Rachel celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on July 18, 1936. More than 125 friends and neighbors came to a party in their honor. In a lengthy feature article, the Daily Courier said that the "Celebration was in the form of a basket picnic and was featured by a golden wedding ceremony performed at noon by Rev. Jacob Kooser of Scottdale beneath a golden arch decorated with roses and ferns." The couple "were presented with a lovely bride and bridegroom wedding ring set, a gift from their children. A group picture was then taken, after which dinner was served. the table was centered, with a huge five-tier wedding cake topped with a miniature bride and bridegroom standing beneath a golden arch... The honor guests were presented with a large and beautiful collection of gifts."

Afflicted with stomach cancer, John's health began to decline rapidly when he was stricken with pneumonia in August 1939. He lost a great deal of weight ("cachexia") and passed away at the age of 77 on Aug. 17, 1939. He was laid to rest at the Normalville Cemetery. 

Rachel died of heart disease followed by a cerebral hemorrhage at age 81 on Feb. 22, 1942. She was buried beside her husband. At the time of her passing, she had 23 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her son Homer was the informant for her Pennsylvania certificate of death.


Normalville Cemetery

Many of their offspring played a role in the rise of Western Pennsylvania's role as a dominant industrial and agricultural center. Their stories are told here, and will be expanded when new material becomes available.


Clyde Pritts

~ Son William "Clyde" Pritts ~

Son William "Clyde" Pritts (1887-1978) was born on Feb. 7, 1887 in or near Normalville, Fayette County. He was tall and slender, with blue eyes and dark brown hair.

He married Nora Bell Prinkey (1886-1954), the daughter of George W.J. and Agnes (Brooks) Prinkey, and stepdaughter of Missouri (White) Prinkey. The ceremony was held in Normalville on June 14, 1910, when both were age 23, and officiated by Rev. G.E. Letchworth.

They had four children -- Albert Pritts, George E. Pritts, Rev. Melvin J. Pritts and Blanche M. Pritts. 

In June 1917, with the United States engaged in World War I, Clyde registered for the military draft. He disclosed that he was employed by the West Penn Railways Company as a laborer, and lived with his wife and at-that-time only child on Freeman Street in Connellsville.

Clyde also was a teamster and a longtime farmer of the Normalville area. He also was employed by the Fayette County Stock Yard for more than 35 years. They were members of the Normalville Evangelical United Brethren Church. 

Sadly, Nora died at her home after an extended illness on June 25, 1954, at the age of 68.

Clyde outlived her by nearly a quarter of a century. In December 1966, while on his way to work at the stock yards, his automobile struck a parked truck, causing "contusions and abrasions of the nose," said the Daily Courier


Book naming the Prittses

Three years before Clyde's death, he and Nora were listed in the 1975 paperback book, Brooks Family History. An original copy of the book is preserved today in the Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Archives.

He passed away on Feb. 26, 1978, at the age of 91. 


Albert and Dolora, 1936

Son Albert Pritts (1911- ? ) was born in 1911. He married Dolora Herman ( ? - ? ). They resided in Normalville, where Albert was employed in hospital maintenance and also at Normalville Elementary School as a bus driver. They had six children -- Esther Coffman, Gladys Williams, Roxie Tinkey, Connie Pritts, Bonnie Pritts and Ronald Pritts. Great-granddaughter Roxie Pritts married Elmer W. Tinkey in June 1967. Their wedding ceremony was performed by her uncle, Rev. Melvin Pritts, who traveled from Arizona to be part of the event.


Son Rev. Melvin J. Pritts ( ? - ? ) joined the U.S. Army in September 1945. As a 19-year-old, he was sent to the Panama Canal Zone and worked with the Detachment Medical Department at Fort Kobbe. Following his discharge from the military, he received his bachelor's degree from West Virginia Wesley College and became an ordained minister. In July 1950, reported the Daily Courier, he preached at the Normalville Evangelical United Brethren Church. In October 1951, Melvin married Betty Ann Noon, daughter of Michael Noon of Taplin, WV. The ceremony was held at the home of Betty Ann's uncle and aunt, Robert E. Tuggle of Taplin, led by Rev. Claude R. Collins of the Bruce McConald Memorial Methodist Church. At the time of marriage, Melvin worked for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Clarksburg, Harrison County, WV and served as pastor of the Sardis Methodist Church. Betty Ann studied at West Virginia Wesleyan College. They had two children -- Robert Pritts and Sherry Pritts. In 1954, Melvin lived in Pittsburgh, and in 1955-1956 was minister of Clover Hill Church in a rural area near Bentleyville, PA. Later in 1956, the Prittses made their home in Pittsburgh's South Side. By 1967, Melvin and Betty had relocated to Phoenix, AZ, where he accepted the position of associated pastor of First Methodist Church of Phoenix. 


~ Daughter Ida Grace (Pritts) Prinkey ~




Daughter Ida Grace Pritts (1888-1988) was born in 1888. 

On June 6, 1911, she and Elmer Clarence Prinkey (1889-1964) united themselves in marriage, when she was age 23 and he 22. W.C. Pritts and C.O. Schroyer witnessed the nuptials. He was of medium build and height, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Elmer was a native of Normalville and the son of George W. and Rebecca Prinkey, and stepson of Missouri (White) Prinkey. The Prittses and Prinkeys were close clans, and two of Ida's siblings -- Clyde and Hannah -- married two of Elmer's siblings or half-siblings

They had four children -- John E. Prinkey, George V. Prinkey, Kenneth W. Prinkey and Mary Helen Prinkey. 

Elmer was a lifelong farmer in the Normalville area. With World War I raging in Europe, he was required to register for the military draft in June 1917. At that time, he told the registration officer that he was a farmer for the Indian Creek Coal & Coke Company in Springfield Township. He also claimed he had "bad eyes" and had a wife and family to support.

The Prinkeys were members of the Normalville United Methodist Church. In May 1932, Elmer was elected to the board of education of the Springfield Township schools. His election became somewhat controversial that year over the issue of the enormous cost needed to bring their school buildings back into good condition, and whether Elmer had the standing to vote on that issue. 

The Prinkeys enjoyed attending the annual Prinkey and Murray family reunions. In August 1961, at the 30th annual affair, held at the Henry Fulton Grove near Normalville, Elmer was named oldest man in attendance. 

They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on June 6, 1961. 

Elmer died at age 74 on Jan. 7, 1964. 

Normalville Cemetery

Ida survived her husband by nearly a quarter of a century. She died at the age of 100 on Christmas Eve 1988. At the time of her passing, she had five grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. 

Son Kenneth W. Prinkey (1915-1980) was born in 1915. He was married to a distant cousin, Kathryn Snyder (1914-1989), the daughter of Norman and Jennie (Enos) Snyder. Kathryn was church clerk and pianist for the Poplar Run Church of God.  She also was a Sunday School teacher and missionary band leader,” said the Connellsville Daily Courier.” Kenneth died while driving his car in October 1980, when he “drove off the road after suffering an apparent heart attack and struck a tractor trailer parked in the Mastowski and Fullem Lumber Company driveway, near Normalville,” reported the Courier. She survived her husband by nine years, and passed away in 1989. They rest for eternity in Normalville Cemetery.


~ Daughter Hannah (Pritts) Prinkey ~


Hannah and Marshall Prinkey. Courtesy Daniel Prinkey.

Daughter Hannah Pritts (1896-1936) was born in 1896. 

She married Marshall Earl Prinkey Sr. (1893-1958) on Oct. 18, 1916, when she was age 20 and he was 23. He was of medium build and height, with brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was the son of George W. and Agnes (Brooks) Prinkey of Normalville, and stepson of Missouri (White) Prinkey. (His mother's name also has been given as "Rebecca Shaffer.")

The Prittses and Prinkeys were close clans, and two of Hannah's siblings -- Clyde and Ida Grace -- married two of Marshall's siblings.

The Prinkeys had three children -- Violet Eutsey, Elizabeth Prinkey and Marshall Earl Prinkey Jr. 

Hannah was close to her cousin Katherine Long (daughter of William Jacob Long), and received a number of penny postcards from Katherine in the 1915-1917 timeframe. When Hannah married Marshall in 1916, Katherine sent a congratulatory postcard, saying: 

You pulled some surprise, didn't you? Well, congratulations, anyhow. Think I'll be compelled to do the same thing soon, Dad's away so much. He got home Tuesday night and left this A.M. at 3:50, and goes to Harrisburg Mon. Don't forget to write since you are married.

At the age of 24, in 1917, Marshall and Hannah lived at 508 Francis Street in Connellsville. There, he was employed as a teamster by the Perry & Henderson firm in Connellsville. With America plunged into World War I, Marshall registered for the military draft in June 1917.

In mid-October 1936, Marshall was injured in a freak accident at the age of 43. As reported in the Connellsville Daily Courier, while moving a barrel of vinegar down a flight of steps, the barrel rolled onto his left ankle, causing a fracture.

Sadly, Hannah suffered from a debilitating illness in her late 30s and as she reached 40. She spent time in a hospital in Pittsburgh, and even though returning home, was unable to attend her parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration in July 1936. 

She died just a few months later, on Nov. 22, 1936, at the age of 40. 

Daughter Elizabeth endured an unusual injury in January 1937, at the age of 14, when a sewing needle became lodged in her arm. She was rushed to Connellsville State Hospital, where the object was removed. "She was then permitted to go to her home," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Marshall Sr. lived another 22 years after his wife's death, and worked as a farmer in rural Mt. Pleasant. he suffered a heart attack and died instantly on June 30, 1958. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.

Son Marshall Earl Prinkey Jr. (1934-2015) was born on May 28, 1934 in Normalville. He was joined in wedlock with Delores J. Miller (1941-2015), daughter of Earl and Evelyn (Wilson) Miller of Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County. They lived in Connellsville at 253 East Fairview Avenue and later in Mount Pleasant Township. They had these known children: J'nice Wiltrout, Ann Prinkey, Daniel Prinkey, Marshall Clay Prinkey and Amy Miner. Marshall served in the U.S. Army and then went on to a career in the shipping department of L.E. Smith Glass in Mount Pleasant. The Prinkeys were members of the Mt. Joy Church of the Brethren, with Marshall volunteering as a church trustee and cemetery board director, and Delores employed there as a secretary. Sadly, Delores died at the age of 73 at home on June 6, 2015. Pastor Lee Smith oversaw her funeral service, followed by burial in Normalville Cemetery. Marshall never recovered from his wife's passing, and their children thought he had borne a broken heart. Just a little more than a month later, at the age of 81, he too was carried away by the Angel of Death on July 13, 2015, as a patient at Excela Health Frick Hospital. Rev. Smith again preached the funeral.

  • Granddaughter J'nice Prinkey married David Wiltrout and lived in Mt. Pleasant.
  • Granddaughter Ann Prinkey lived in Mt. Pleasant.
  • Grandson Daniel Prinkey made his home in West Hollywood, CA. 
  • Grandson Marshall Clay Prinkey resided in Mt. Pleasant.
  • Granddaughter Amy Prinkey wed Gary Miner of Mt. Pleasant.

Daughter Violet V. Prinkey (1919-2014) was born on Dec. 21, 1919 in Normalville. She married Harold H. Eutsey (1916-2004). They did not reproduce. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, Violet "worked for the U.S. Postal Service at the Normalville Post Office from 1940-1968. She then worked at George and Cunningham Hardware in Mt. Pleasant from 1969-1984. She was a member of the Mt. Joy Church of the Brethren. Violet's favorite pastime was reading the Bible and making quilts." They resided in Bullskin Township, near Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. Harold passed away at the age of 87 on Aug. 19, 2004. Violet survived him by a decade. She was gathered in by the Grim Reaper on Dec. 29, 2014, at the age of 95. Interment was in the Normalville Cemetery, with Pastor Lee Smith preaching the funeral service.

Daughter Elizabeth H. Prinkey (1923-2015) was born on Oct. 20, 1923 in Normalville. She never married but maintained a home in Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County. Elizabeth was a talented seamstress and was employed for 47 years by Connellsville Sportswear. She also attended the Mt. Joy Church of the Brethren. Over the years, she kept company with a dear friend, Ralph H. Beal. Elizabeth died at the age of 91, at Mt. View Specialty Care in Greensburg, on July 17, 2015, just four days after the passing of her brother Marshall Jr. Her remains were placed into eternal rest in Greenlick Cemetery, Bullskin Township, with an obituary appearing in the Connellsville Daily Courier.




~ Daughter Bessie (Pritts) Sleasman ~

Daughter Bessie Pritts (1890-1955) was born in 1890 near Normalville, Fayette County. 

She married Alva "Alvie" Sleasman (1897-1984), the son of John and Mariah (Reese) Sleasman of Bakersville, Somerset County, PA. He was short and of medium build, with grey eyes and dark brown hair.

They had three sons -- Raymond Sleasman, Gerald Sleasman and Homer Sleasman, and resided in Normalville, Connellsville and Indian Head, Fayette County.

During World War I, prior to marriage, Alvie lived in Somerset, Somerset County and worked for the West Penn Power Company plant in Connellsville. He registered for the military draft in June 1918 and stated that his father was his nearest relative.

On Aug. 23, 1921, Bessie sent a penny postcard to her mother, stating: "I arrived in town O.K. Marea got the 9:10 car and I came over on the 9:30. Am going to work this after noon. Mrs. Mayfield has her 2 rooms rented." 


National Tube Works, McKeesport

In about 1943, the Sleasmans moved to Elizabeth, Allegheny County, PA, in Pittsburgh's Mon Valley. Alvie was an overhead crane operator for the U.S. Steel's National Tube Division at McKeesport, Allegheny County, PA, where he was employed for 23 years. National Tube's plant is seen here. He also was a coal miner for the Indian Head Coal Company and a veteran of World War I.

Bessie passed away at home at age 64 on Jan. 24, 1955, after a five-year illness, said the Daily Courier

Alvie remarried to Gladys Laymon, and was a member of the Pennsville Baptist Church. 

He died in Connellsville on Nov. 28, 1984.

Son Gerald Dale Sleasman (1927-2002) was born in 1927. He married Dolores Duval. He was a "retired craneman from the National plant, U.S. Steel Corp., [and] was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and member of Central Highlands Community United Methodist Church in Elizabeth Twp.," said the McKeesport Daily News.


Elizabeth Sleasman

~ Daughter Elizabeth (Pritts) Sleasman ~

Daughter Elizabeth Pritts (1893-1954) was born in 1893 near Normalville, Fayette County.

In May 1923, when she was age 30, she married the younger 25-year-old Albert R. Sleasman (1898-1970), the son of John and Mariah (Reese) Sleasman of Somerset County, PA. He was tall, and of medium build, with brown hair and blue eyes. (The Pritts and Sleasman families were close, and Elizabeth's sister Bessie married Albert's brother Alvie.) 

They had one daughter, Rachel Meyers. 

Prior to marriage, during World War I, in September 1918, Albert registered for the military draft. At the time, he resided at Indian Head, Fayette County, and worked for the Indian Creek Coal and Coke Company. He disclosed that his mother, now living at Indian Head, relied on him for support.

The Sleasmans were members of the Indian Head Church of God. Albert was a coal miner of the Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates, retiring in 1958 after three decades of work. He also was employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways for two years. In August 1929, the family traveled to Cleveland, OH to visit with Elizabeth's great-aunt, Annie (Long) Kooser.


Anchor Hocking glass plant in Connellsville

After an illness of eight months' duration, Elizabeth passed away on Aug. 3, 1954, at the age of 61. 

Albert died on May 3, 1970, at age 72.

Daughter Rachel Sleasman married C.M. Meyers, son of Clayton and Milla (White) Meyers on June 27, 1947. Their two children were Jeanne Meyers and Sharon Meyers. They attended the Millertown Community Church. C.M. was a construction superintendent for many years with Graziano Construction Company of Pittsburgh, and was a member of the Carpenters Union for 46 years, said the Daily Courier. Rachel was employed by Connellsville Sportswear and the Anchor Hocking Glass Plant in South Connellsville. The plant is seen at right in an old postcard. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 27, 1997, and were pictured in a feature in the Daily Courier.


Esther Flydell

~ Daughter Esther Mary (Pritts) Flydell ~

Daughter Esther Mary Pritts (1898-1989) was born in 1898 near Normalville, Fayette County. 

She married George Henry Flydell (1891-1976), son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Geisler) Flydell and a native of Dunbar Township, Fayette County. They were wed on June 22, 1921, when she was age 23 and he 30. He was tall and slender, with light hair and brown eyes.

They went on to reside in the Vanderbilt and Connellsville areas of Fayette County. Their address in 1971 was 803 Meason Street on the West Side of Connellsville.

The Flydells had three daughters -- Rachel Pierce, Verna M. Shipley and Catherine Leonard. 

In the years before he was married, George secured employment as a laborer for the H.C. Frick Coal & Coke Co.'s Leisenring No. 1 Mine, and continued in this occupation for decades, retiring in 1955. He was a longtime member of Local 1901 of the United Mine Workers of America. He also was a veteran of World War I, after registering for the military draft in June 1917. 

Esther was employed for many years by Connellsville Sportswear, where she was a talented seamstress. They were members of the First Baptist Church of Connellsville. 

On June 22, 1971, the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and were pictured in the Daily Courier a few days beforehand. An open house reception was held at their home. 

George died on Aug. 24, 1976, at the age of 85.

Esther outlived her husband by 13 years. She passed away on July 16, 1989. At the time of her death, Esther had nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. They are buried at Green Ridge Memorial Park. 

Daughter Rachel Flydell ( ? - ? ) married Lysle E. "Bud" Pierce ( ? - ? ). He was a U.S. Marines veteran of World War II, serving from 1942 until 1949. He returned to Connellsville and was employed as an agent with the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company. In 1968-1971, they lived in South Connellsville at 1407 Vine Street. They had at least three daughters, Leila Edwinna Dale, Dorothy M. Pierce and Diana Marie Pierce. Rachel and Lysle were deceased by 2019.

  • Granddaughter Leila Edwinna Dale was born in (?). She was a graduate of the Maison Frederic System School of Beauty Culture in Uniontown and of the Automation Training Inc., of St. Louis. In September 1968, she was united in matrimony with Richard Michael Dale, son of Rev. and Mrs. Charles M. Dale. The wedding ceremony took place at the Calvary Assembly of God Church. Richard was a veteran of the Vietnam War and in 1968 was stationed at the Balling Air Force Base in Washington, DC.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy M. Pierce completed three years of nursing education at Washington Hospital School of Nursing and in 1968 was employed at the hospital as a general duty nurse in the intensive care unit.
  • Granddaughter Diana Marie Pierce studied at the Uniontown Hospital School of Nursing and in 1968 worked as a general duty staff nurse at Connellsville State General Hospital. She married Richard Wayne Shea, son of Clarence Shea of Hibbs, PA. At the time, he was an orderly at Uniontown Hospital, and had served in the U.S. Navy for two years.

Daughter Verna M. Flydell (1925-2019) was born on Jan. 26, 1925 in Connellsville. She was a 1943 graduate of Dunbar Township High School. She was united in holy matrimony with Elmer Shipley ( ? - ? ). Their marriage endured for 65 years until death cleaved them apart. The couple bore an only son, Barry Shipley. They resided in Connellsville and were members of the First Baptist Church. Verna, said the Connellsville Daily Courier, was an "amazing gardener and farmer. Her flowers, fruits, vegetables and Christmas trees were appreciated by not only friends & family, but also those who traveled many miles to get them. She enjoyed cooking, baking and quilting and she loved animals. Most of all, she was content when others were happy... [and] devoted her life to showing love and kindness to everyone she met." Verna died at the age of 94 on June 26, 2019. Distant cousin Lee Maley, of the family of Martha Ellen (Mayle) Mayle, officiated at the funeral service. Interment followed at Green Ridge Memorial Park.

  • Grandson Barry Shipley wedded Cookie. Their children are Mianna Tamburri and Tashara Tucholski. The family makes a home in Connellsville.

Daughter Catherine E. Flydell ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). As a young woman, she was employed by Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation in South Connellsville. In early April 1951, she was wedded to Donald Leonard ( ? - ? ), son of James F. and Martha E. Leonard. The nuptials were celebrated at the home of the bride on 803 Meason Street, with Rev. J.E. Ellenberger performing the ceremony. Reported the Daily Courier, "The bride was attired in a poudre blue gabardine suit with navy blue accessories and wore a corsage of red rosebuds. For 'luck' she tucked a coin in the toe of her shoe." Mrs. Kenneth Nicholson served as matron of honor. He earned a living with U.S. Steel Corporation at its Homestead Works. Their home in the early 1970s was in Springville, NY and in 2019 in Buffalo, NY.


Blanche Curtis

~ Daughter Blanche (Pritts) Brooks ~

Daughter Blanche Pritts (1902-2000) was born in 1902 near Normalville, Fayette County.

At the age of 24, she married William " Curtis" Brooks (1895-1959), the 31-year-old son of Charles B. and Della May (Gallentine) Brooks. They were wed on April 14, 1926. 

Curtis was a coal miner for U.S. Steel at its Leisenring No. 3 Mine and was a member of the United Mine Workers of America. (The coal shaft of the Leisenring No. 3 Mine is seen here in a rare old postcard photograph.) 

They resided in the Wooddale section of Connellsville had six children -- Howard Brooks, Donald Brooks, Glenn Brooks, James Robert Brooks, Lillian R. Doppelheuer and Hilda Beal. 


Leisenring No. 3 mine shaft

Curtis passed away at age 60 on April 6, 1959. 

Blanche and Curtis are mentioned in the 1975 Brooks Family History

Blanche was interviewed several times in her home in the late 1980s and early '90s by the founder of Minerd.com. Her insights and recollections -- including specific memories of her great-grandfather Jacob Minerd III -- have been invaluable for our understanding of this branch of the family. 

She died on Nov. 9, 2000, at the age of 98. 

Daughter Lillian R. Brooks (1926-2010) was born on Oct. 4, 1926, in Normalville. She married (?) Doppelheuer. They resided in Somerset, KY, and had two children -- Robert "Bobby" Doppelheuer and Kathleen Doppelheuer. Said the Daily Courier, "Lillian worked as a cook for the Central Kentucky Vocational School. Lillian loved gardening, traveling and cooking for her family." She passed away at age 84 in the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset on Oct. 18, 2010. Her remains were returned to her home community for burial in the Normalville Cemetery. 


~ Son Homer Randall Pritts ~


Homer and his ill-fated 1st wife Dorothy

Son Homer Randall Pritts (1906-1945) was born in 1906, the youngest of eight children.

He is not to be confused with another, infamous Homer Pritts (1899-1967) of Rockwood, Somerset County, PA who was widely known for his moonshining expertise and regular run-ins with law enforcement officers as part of the notorious "Pritts Gang."

At the age of 23, our Homer married his first wife, 17-year-old Dorothy Esther Lehman (or "Layman") (1912-1937) on May 27, 1929. She was the daughter of D.A. Lehman of Hooversville, Somerset County.

They had one son, William David Pritts. 


Homer (right) with one of his brothers

Circa 1931, the family made their home in Hooversville, but soonafter relocated to Normalville. 

In July 1936, they attended the golden wedding anniversary of Homer's parents, and were photographed among the large group of attendees that day.

Tragedy rocked the young family when Dorothy, who had suffered from "a lingering illness," died at age 25 on Aug. 27, 1937. The Connellsville Daily Courier reported that she died at home in Normalville and that her place of interment was the Normalville Cemetery, known at that time as the "United Brethren Cemetery at Normalville." They only had eight years of married life together before her passing.

After Dorothy's death, Homer returned home to live with his parents, until he met and married his second wife.

Homer wed Virginia Densmore ( ? - ? ), and they had two daughters, Constance Ann Klink and Nancy Lee Pritts. 

As a young man, Homer received a number of penny postcards from his siblings and from his uncle William Jacob Long. He worked for the railroad division of the Pittsburgh Steel Company. They moved to Limestone Hill, near Connellsville, Fayette County in April 1945.

Above: Dorothy (Layman) Pritts with son William, age 7, shortly before her death in 1937.  Below: William (right) with his offspring, 2008.


Sadly, just three months later, on July 7, 1945, Homer died at age 38 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Pittsburgh, after an illness of four months. The funeral was held at the Normalville United Brethren Church, with burial at the adjacent cemetery. 


William D. Pritts Margaret Pritts

Virginia's fate is unknown. 

Son William David Pritts (1930-2012) was born on Jan. 5, 1930 in Normalville. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, he "was employed as a construction worker and had also worked for Skalecki's Window and Wall Washing Co. and he was the owner of Bill's Tropical Fish and Pets in Connellsville. He was also an avid railroad enthusiast." He married Margaret Elizabeth "Peg" Roadman (1938-1989), the daughter of James G. and Helen Ruth (Grimm) Roadman of Dickerson Run, near Vanderbilt, Fayette County. The ceremony was held on Sept. 17, year not known.They had eight children -- William Randall Pritts, Nancy Ruth Pritts, Lisa Denise Kerr, Lori Renee Yanuck, Randall Pritts, David Allen Pritts, Peggy Diane Jansen and Michael Kenneth Pritts. Sadly, they endured the deaths of son William (1958-1989) and daughter Nancy at young ages. Peg was employed at Anchor Hocking Company in South Connellsville. She was a member of Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness in Connellsville, and of the East Huntingdon Twirlettes Mother's Club. Sadly, she died of cancer at the age of 50 in 1989. William outlived his wife by 23 years. He passed away in UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh at the age of 82 on June 26, 2012. Following a funeral led by Pastor Craig Culbertson, he was laid to rest in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Connellsville. At the time, a newspaper said he was survived by 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. 

  • William Randall Pritts

    Grandson William Randall Pritts (1958-1989) married Robin Geyer. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Tragically, he died in 1989, at the age of 31. Today his legacy survives in the lives of their children and eight grandchildren.
  • Granddaughter Lisa Denise Kerr
  • Granddaughter Lori Renee Yanuck
  • Grandson Randall Pritts
  • Grandson David Allen Pritts
  • Granddaughter Peggy Diane Jansen
  • Grandson Michael Kenneth Pritts



Margaret with daughters Lori and Lisa, left, and with daughter Peggy



Copyright © 2001-2003, 2006, 2009, 2012-2013, 2015, 2018-2019 Mark A. Miner

Many thanks to Harry J. Ansell for his sharing his research.